Why the Hottest News at Bitcoin 2022 Was Not About Bitcoin

Why the Hottest News at Bitcoin 2022 Was Not About Bitcoin

This year’s Bitcoin 2022 in Miami came after the legalization of Bitcoin in El Salvador in September last year, and the all-time high of over $61k in October before tumbling to a largely stable plateau of around $40k. Last year’s Bitcoin conference focused on the Lightning Network, a payments platform built on the Bitcoin blockchain which is used in El Salvador by the government in creating the wallet, Chivo, which is Lightning-compatible and designed to enable seamless cross-border payments.

So, it’s appropriate that this year’s event, with the decline in the price of BTC followed up on the original intent of Bitcoin to act as a payments system rather than as a long term investment, with the integration of the Strike Lightning-based wallet with mainstream payment platforms including Shopify.
The significance of the Shopify partnership

During the conference, Jack Mallers, CEO of Strike, revealed the company’s plans to collaborate with point-of-sale behemoths Shopify, NCR, and Blackhawk Network to revolutionize the payments industry. As a result, online retailers that support Shopify can now accept payments via the Lightning Network, in turn allowing US merchants to receive payments from customers globally as US dollars. As the integration of the Strike wallet is with major online players in the US economy, this could potentially do a lot for the mainstream adoption of Bitcoin, particularly in the retail industry.

What this means has been perhaps missed by some commentators, who fail to make the distinction between Bitcoin as investment asset and use of the Bitcoin blockchain as a payment network, with the Lightning Network sitting on top of it and processing transactions much faster and cheaper than using Bitcoin itself. In simple terms the Lightning Network (LN) is a “layer 2” payment protocol layered on top of a blockchain-based cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin or Litecoin. Andreas Antonopoulos has referred to the Lightning Network as a ‘second layer routing network’. The payment channels allow participants to transfer money to each other without having to make all their transactions public on the blockchain, according to Wikipedia. So, what did Jack Mallers say about this exciting innovation at Bitcoin 2022 that helps make more sense of this? To understand what Mallers is doing and why it could be so impactful, it’s best to put aside Bitcoin and instead focus on the payment network side of Strike.
After all, that’s how Mallers introduced it to the Bitcoin 2022 audience, giving a quick history lesson about the current payment network used by retailers which began in New York in 1949 with the launch of Diners Club, started by “a bunch of rich plutocrats in New York City that didn’t want to carry cash”. Such was its success that the following year Bank of America announced a mass market payment card, with American Express in 1958. And essentially that same network, with innovations such as the launch of credit cards like Visa, is the same payment network we have today. “And so in reality, payment networks have not innovated in over 50 years. That’s insane. That’s ridiculous,” Mallers said. Following up later with Yahoo Finance Mallers explained that the current system is one of ‘debt promises’ where because it’s based on dollars or whatever fiat currency is involved, the transaction doesn’t involve sending dollars when you spend. Instead, the banks promise each other that the purchaser is good for the transaction, but the merchant pays a fee for this ‘debt promise system’.
Using Bitcoin’s blockchain as a payment network

Instead, what Mallers unveiled at Bitcoin 2022 is a way to send any currency around the world without needing to use the banks and without needing to charge the merchant. In other words, it allows you to send dollars or to a merchant on the other side of the world, using the Bitcoin blockchain via the Lightning Network, and have it converted into say Euros at the touch of the button and instantly.

As Mallers told the audience, “Okay, so $100 spent $100 received. There’s no two to 15 days of settlement. There’s no 3%. The point is we can recreate a superior payments experience with a superior payments network. This thing is not issued by a government. It’s not a company, Bank of America found it rebranded. No, there’s no consortium of banks running this thing. It’s open, it lives in the clouds.” It’s using the Bitcoin blockchain as the infrastructure for the payments system, just as email uses the internet as the global infrastructure that allows you to email all across the world for free. “Anyone can join it, it’s global, it’s uncensorable, it’s cash final,” confirmed Mallers.
“This is not in another country. This is not a test pilot somewhere – no. This is in the United States of America. You’re going to be able to walk into a grocery store, to Whole Foods, to Chipotle… You want to use a Lightning node over Tor? You do that. You want to use the Cash App? You do that… If Chipotle wants Bitcoin, I’ll give them Bitcoin, I’ll settle in Bitcoin,” he added.
What grabbed the headlines of course wasn’t just the theory behind Strike’s payments network, but the partnership with Shopify. With the Strike integration, Shopify merchants can accept payments globally and save costs on processing fees, with cash-final settlement. Strike’s integration enables Shopify merchants to diversify their existing payment options and reach untapped global markets and purchasing power. Strike’s integration also allows Shopify merchants to generate savings through low-cost payment processing. By instantly converting bitcoin payments to dollars, Strike removes certain complexities merchants face in holding bitcoin.
Chairman of BigONE Exchange, Anndy Lian, said he was impressed by the use of the layer 2 Bitcoin blockchain technology deployed by Strike, bringing together fiat and crypto in one global easy to use payment network: “While Bitcoin as a store of value is an impressive investment, it’s about time Satoshi’s original vision of Bitcoin as a payment system from people to people was realized. For me the use of the Lightning Network is certainly attractive in delivering on that promise. It will be interesting to see however if this catches on outside the US, or whether the use of such layer 2 payment networks inspires innovation in places such as South Korea with the crypto friendly new President taking office next month.” Certainly, the impact of the war in Ukraine and banking sanctions on Russia may inspire innovative payment systems using the blockchain for effective p2p payment networks that sit outside the current US-controlled SWIFT system which manages payments between banks globally, Lian added.

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.

Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.

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All I Got For the Holidays Was an NFT. Now What?

All I Got For the Holidays Was an NFT. Now What?

Amid exploding popularity, NFTs will be the gift of the moment this year. For the gift giver, it has several advantages: You don’t need to wrap it, you don’t need to carry it when you travel, it’s a really thoughtful gift as it can appreciate over time and it can be highly personalized.

Trading in NFTs climbed to $10.7 billion in the third quarter of 2021, an increase of more than 700% from the previous quarter, according to a report by blockchain analytics firm DappRadar. But not everyone’s into them, perhaps because of a lack of understanding, or just lack of interest.

Great. But what if you’re on the other end and not into them?

Anndy Lian, Chairman, BigONE Exchange and Founding Member of INFLUXO, told GOBankingRates that he, in fact, bought his staff NFT as holiday gifts this year.

“This is also because of COVID, I cannot see many of them personally. NFT becomes an ideal gift for everyone,” he said. “NFTs are here to stay, this year we may be talking about gifting an NFT as a collectible. Next year, you may be gifted an NFT that can be the actual key to a house in Manhattan. Always remember, what you see now for NFT is just the beginning. Its use case can be very broad.”

 

But first things first. What is one to do when gifted with an NFT?

“To receive NFT, they need a wallet and depending on where the NFT is residing. You may need an Ethereum, Polygon, Binance wallet. Just naming some of them,” Lian said.

 

Which brings us to the second point: How does one “accept” an NFT?

“NFTs are and can only exist on the blockchain in an individual’s wallet,” Dominic Ryder, CEO of vEmpire, told GOBankingRates. “This means unless you agree to set up a crypto wallet, you will and can never officially own an NFT,” he said. “Somebody can buy one and say it is yours for sure, but you only own that asset if you own the private keys to the wallet they are held in. So if you don’t want to accept an NFT, you don’t have to! Just don’t create a wallet or accept one to be made for you to store the NFT they have bought.”

However, he added that if you want to know how to accept the gift, he suggests creating an ethereum wallet via Metamask or Trust wallet.

“Make sure to verify any links you follow and enjoy the world of NFTs,” he added.

 

And if you’re really just not interested?

While NFTs are one of the biggest drivers of Defi growth and have been for some time, not everyone will want one or be interested in them, Grigory Rybalchenko, Founder of Emiswap, told GOBankingRates.

“But we can also agree that they are an excellent tool to prove ownership status on the blockchain. If you are a gamer, VR player, collector, or digital artist of any kind, then NFTs have the potential to give you something that wasn’t conceivable only a few years back,” he said.

However, Rybalchenko added that it’s also understandable that many people may not care for them because they may not be of use to them.

“In that case, if you receive an NFT that you don’t want to keep, you can reopen it for sale on a marketplace like OpenSea.io on Ethereum or AirNFTs on Smart Chain,” he said. “You can also transfer ownership to someone else, i.e., regift it. However, during all transfers, all details will be visible on the blockchain under the unique token ID or smart contact address.”

Anthony Georgiades, Co-Founder and COO of NFT marketplace Pastel Network, echoes the sentiment, saying that even if you receive an NFT that you don’t want, it’s still great news, as you can try to sell it on one of a growing number of quality secondary marketplaces.

“And if you want to keep it, well, what’s more, is that you don’t require a physical place to store them. It’s all digital and takes up no space, as opposed to those annoying piles of festive Christmas socks gifted to you by that random aunt or uncle,” he said. “And if you just want to forget about it, then your gift NFT can simply be held in your wallet, on the blockchain, for eternity while you conveniently forget you ever received it.”

 

NFTs are still better than an ugly sweater

Another positive aspect of being gifted an NFT you don’t really want is that “you have more options for putting it to use than you would with an ugly Christmas sweater,” Ivan Ravlich, CEO of cyber-infrastructure company Hypernet Labs, told GOBankingRates.

“An NFT isn’t a gift you have to shove in a drawer or reluctantly bring out and put on display for visitors – it’s a personal asset that can be traded for cryptocurrencies, staked or sold for cash without the need of a gift receipt or returning to a retailer,” he said.

Overall, crypto experts recommend holding on to them as they can turn out to be extremely valuable assets over time.

Josh James, Co-Founder and COO of NFT platform OneOf, said that whether or not you’re interested in NFTs, they are a valuable gift and appreciate over time “much more than the never worn Christmas sweater from your favorite aunt.”

“When iconic NFTs dropped, virtually nobody knew how popular and sought-after they’d become. If the NFT doesn’t hold any personal value for you, I’d suggest saving it for a rainy day, donating to charity or selling it to someone who really wants it. You never know — it could turn out to be a very valuable asset,” James added.

 

At the Very Least, NFTs Are Educational

Finally, as the giver of an NFT, you could simply preamble the gifting by saying it also has an educational component, enabling skills and knowledge that can be parlayed in crypto investing more broadly.

“Gifting an NFT is a trojan horse gift to learn how the blockchain works. If someone doesn’t want to receive an NFT I would recommend they still get one to learn about the space,” Garrett Minks, CTO of RAIR TECH, told GOBankingRates.

“The learnings about how wallets work, signing transactions, spending crypto are all invaluable lessons for the future as web3 and defi become more a part of our everyday lives.” Minks said. “When the tools are really easy to use years from now a majority of the alpha will be taken by people willing to learn. The best gift for 2021 is the gift of web3 knowledge regardless of what the NFT looks like.”

 

Original Source: https://www.gobankingrates.com/investing/crypto/all-i-got-for-the-holidays-was-an-nft-now-what/

Reposted on: https://news.yahoo.com/got-holidays-nft-now-182018474.html

Anndy Lian is an early blockchain adopter and experienced serial entrepreneur who is known for his work in the government sector. He is a best selling book author “Blockchain Revolution 2030”.

Currently, he is appointed as the Chief Digital Advisor at Mongolia Productivity Organization, championing national digitization. Prior to his current appointments, he was the Chairman of BigONE Exchange, a global top 30 ranked crypto spot exchange and was also the Advisory Board Member for Hyundai DAC, the blockchain arm of South Korea’s largest car manufacturer Hyundai Motor Group. Lian played a pivotal role as the Blockchain Advisor for Asian Productivity Organisation (APO), an intergovernmental organization committed to improving productivity in the Asia-Pacific region.

An avid supporter of incubating start-ups, Anndy has also been a private investor for the past eight years. With a growth investment mindset, Anndy strategically demonstrates this in the companies he chooses to be involved with. He believes that what he is doing through blockchain technology currently will revolutionise and redefine traditional businesses. He also believes that the blockchain industry has to be “redecentralised”.

j j j